By Ryan Maquiñana
Following an unsatisfying ending to last Saturday’s Solo Boxeo main event between California-based super middleweights Paul Mendez (10-2-1, 4 KOs) and DonYil Livingston (8-2-1, 4 KOs) in Woodland, Calif., both fighters have already commenced talks of a rematch.
“I got a lot of respect for DonYil. Like I said on TV, if he wants a rematch, I’ll give him one,” Mendez told BoxingScene.com. “It will give me an opportunity to win it even more convincingly and clearly the second the time around.”
“I’ll give him that he was ahead about four rounds to two,” Livingston said. “But the last punch was low, even if it was unintentional, and the ref should’ve given me five minutes to recover and finish the fight. I definitely want a rematch.”
Mendez floored Livingston with a left hook in the seventh round that landed below the beltline. Referee Dan Collins mistakenly started administering a count to the fallen Livingston and counted him out. After much confusion, the California commission officials confirmed Collins’ call, and Mendez was named the victor.
The finish spoiled an entertaining scrap between two promising prospects. Mendez has shown gradual improvement compared to his last few outings on TeleFutura, and had done enough to win four rounds on this writer’s scorecard.
“I’ve definitely felt a difference in there over the past couple fights training with Garcia Boxing in Salinas,” Mendez said. “I’ve really gotten better with my boxing skills and setting up my right hand and power shots more. I’m also in better shape.”
Livingston found success in the third round with a few short uppercuts inside and seemed to have taken the fifth as well.
“I was coming on in the last couple rounds, and I think the next time around, I’ll make a couple adjustments,” Livingston said. “For one, I could see his jab coming and I just waited too long to throw the right hand. Actually, ‘Dre was asking me why I didn’t throw the right hand after the fight.”
‘Dre would be Andre Ward, Livingston’s cousin. The super middleweight champion was in attendance, and if a return bout can be finalized, he might show up to support family once again.
However, unless Livingston wins his appeal with the California commission to change the result from a knockout to a no-contest or at least a technical decision loss, Ward will have to wait at least a month to see it. By rule, Livingston would be suspended for that duration of time by virtue of being stopped.
“I let Mario [Yagobi], my promoter, handle all that,” Livingston said of the status of the protest. “Whether they should’ve used the TV replay because we’re in California, I don’t know. I do think I deserve a rematch.”
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.